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Premier League

  • February 3, 2014
  • • 3:00 PM
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 47364

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Chelsea

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Chelsea

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Manuel Pellegrini's side sits a point clear at the top of the Premier League table and has won all of its league matches at the Etihad Stadium so far this season.

Manchester City hosts Chelsea on Monday in a clash that puts the Premier League's most potent attack against its tightest defense.

A trip to the Etihad Stadium has become a daunting task this season, with City having won 17 of its 18 games there in all competitions and scoring an incredible 72 goals in the process.

Manuel Pellegrini's men have won all 11 of their Premier League fixtures on home soil this season, finding the net 42 times, and their scoring exploits continued on the road in midweek as they hammered Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane.

That result took City's total Premier League goal tally to 68 in 23 matches and a run of eight consecutive top-flight victories has lifted it a point above Arsenal at the top of the table.

Chelsea, though, sits only three points adrift of City in third on the back of just one defeat in its last 13 Premier League outings - and much of its success this season has been built on its resilient defense.

Jose Mourinho's side has conceded just three times in eight top-flight fixtures since its last loss at Stoke City on Dec. 7 and has let in only 20 goals in 23 games this season while keeping nine clean sheets.

Monday's match represents the first of two visits to the Etihad in the space of 12 days for Chelsea, as it will also travel to Manchester for an FA Cup fifth-round tie Feb. 15, and Mourinho is adamant that he has no intention of simply attempting to avoid defeat in either game.

"Chelsea try to win every game," the Portuguese told the press. "We are not going to change our philosophy. We are going in a certain direction and just because we are playing a certain opponent doesn't mean we are going to change that."

The Blues can take heart from the fact that they beat City 2-1 in the reverse fixture in October courtesy of Fernando Torres' last-gasp winner.

Torres will miss this encounter with a knee problem, as will City's goalscorer on that occasion, Sergio Aguero, who is sidelined after picking up a hamstring problem in the win at Tottenham. Samir Nasri (knee) and Javi Garcia (knock) are both also unavailable to Pellegrini.

With the exception of Torres and long-term absentee Marco van Ginkel (knee), Mourinho has a fully fit squad from which to choose. New signing Mohamed Salah could be in line for his debut - likely from the bench.

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